Title: Director of Information Technology
Company: Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe
Education: Bachelor's degree in computer science from Central Michigan University, master's degree in cybersecurity technology from University of Maryland Global Campus
Organizational Affiliations: TribalNet board member and a Gaming and Leisure advisory board member
What made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in technology?
Although I took my first computer programming class in high school, when there was dot-matrix printers and everything was DOS, it wasn’t until I was in college that I fully engrossed myself in technology. I think it was the logic in computer programming that captured my interest and made me realize I liked the troubleshooting aspect of technology.
What three adjectives would you use to describe your journey in the industry so far?
Productive, dedicated, and fulfilling.
What is your personal mantra?
Where there is will, there is a way.
Describe the highest point in your career so far and how you got there, including all the hurdles you had to jump (and the ones you tripped over and too).
I believe the high point for myself is when I earned my master’s degree in cybersecurity technology. Over the years, I had started and stopped classes toward my master’s degree. At no time did I feel the extra classes I took were wasteful; they made me a more well-rounded student.
What is your most admirable quality?
Responsibility — I value that people can rely on me to see through projects and tasks to completion.
What aspect of the industry do you think has the most potential for growth, and, on the other hand, which aspect do you think needs the most improvement?
There are many areas I believe we will see growth, like IoT and cybersecurity. We, as a society, are introducing technology into every aspect of our home automation systems — from Wi-Fi-enabled refrigerators to home security systems. However, the expansion and inclusion of technology into every aspect of our lives warrants strong cybersecurity protecting individual privacy from exploitation. All that being said, the one area I believe needs improvement is the inclusion of females within technology. I believe that inclusion needs to start at a young age, promoting female students in the science programs and computer programming.
When you imagine the future of the technology industry, what does it look like?
It is hard to imagine the future of technology because I believe it to be limitless. I believe technology can bring value to all of our lives but it needs to be protected from the misgivings and manipulations of human beings for their own benefit.
What is the most valuable life lesson you have learned so far and how has it helped you in your career?
Success is earned. I believe the best success is one that someone has worked hard for — because the time that was invested into it can be appreciated.
What three adjectives come to mind when you think about your future path?
Adaptable, persistent, and unrestricted. I need to maintain adaptability to have perseverance to achieve in an unrestricted future.
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